Five physicians and two pharmacists were among the 22 people recently charged for involvement in the illegal distribution of prescription drugs, according to federal court documents unsealed Friday in Orlando and Tampa, Fla.
Docs, pharmacists named in Fla. pill-mill indictments
The arrests came as part of an ongoing crackdown against so-called pill mills, in which physicians, pharmacies or clinics prescribe controlled substances without the proper assessment or clinical justification to patients. The crackdown in the state with highest suspected rates of prescription drug abuse was known as Operation Pill Nation II and announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and other federal officials.
“Today's actions mark important progress in our ongoing fight against one of the nation's greatest public safety and public health epidemics: prescription drug abuse,” Holder said at a news conference in Tampa. “Our targeted, aggressive enforcement actions are sending a clear message that in Florida, which has long been an epicenter for the illegal use and distribution of prescription drugs, the days of easily acquiring these drugs from corrupt doctors and pharmacists are numbered.”
The Florida operation had already resulted in the arrest of 49 other people. Its precursor earlier this year, Operation Pill Nation I, led to the arrest of 47 people, including 17 physicians and five clinic owners.
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